Much Soap? ... Less Is More
I wanted to add
a few notes to last month's newsletter regarding window
cleaning soaps. A friends and I share a 4 year - State
window cleaning contract together, involving 6 high-rise and 1 low-rise
Last year, as we
worked through the 4 week contract, I was amazed to see HOW LITTLE soap
he used in his bucket of water. He started the project with 1 half empty
pint of Joy dishwashing soap, and after 1 month of work, he still had
He'd literally add a drop of soap per gallon of water.
And, if his pint of Joy was not available when he wanted to refill his
bucket, he'd clean and squeegee the glass with straight water.
I learned a big
lesson about soap and window cleaning watching him:
You can produce excellent window cleaning results with far less soap than you'd
expect. In fact, pure water streaks are far less visible when they dry
than streaks from a soapier solution. So, if you leave any water behind
on a window after squeegeeing, it will look better using less soap.
This is especially true when cleaning tinted or mirrored glass.
Ofcourse the downside
to less soap is squeegee drag, it's more difficult to swirl, and wears
squeegee rubber faster. It's also harder to breakup bug juice and cooking
grease etc... But, if you are cleaning glass on large high rise buildings,
you don't have to worry about that; your focus is on releasing the dirt
from the glass and squeegeeing it off. And, straight water works in
do I know how much soap to use?
For all intensive
purposes, I recommend trying... (drum roll please)...
Sea Sponge Test
Most window cleaners
don't use sea sponges, but they are essential for high rise and interior
office window cleaning, to wipe sills and squeegee rubber etc... The
sea sponge test is this:
If you add too much
soap to your bucket of water and dip your sea sponge into that solution;
when you wring out that sponge, your hands and sponge will be a soapy
- foamy mess!
What you want is, enough soap to breakup materials on
glass, let squeegee glide and be able to wring your sponge without a
soapy residue. You want just enough soap to hold the water to the
glass, so LITTLE that virtually NO BUBBLES are visible.
Yes, it's true,
most people add too much soap to their water.
And sometimes, after squeegeeing,
that can also cause a noticeable white cast on glass during a sunny
day; the last thing you ever want to get into the habit is chamoising
haze off glass so...
less soap. You know the saying:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Andy Engstrom specializes in teaching real people how to start profitable Window Cleaning businesses that make $40,000 to $100,000 (or more) per year. To get instant access to all his most profitable window cleaning business strategies, tools, and resources,
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